1.25pm Kempton Tips & Betting Preview 26/12/2015

1.25pm Kempton Saturday 26th December

Free Tip: Antony at 7/1 Each Way

Race Details

Race Time: 1.25pm MeetingKempton Day: Saturday 26th December 2015 Full Race NameWilliam Hill Winter Festival Novices’ Limited Handicap Chase Class Three

Betting Preview

There is no such thing as a bad race at Kempton on Boxing Day and although this looks tricky (being a handicap), it still oozes class and is a fascinating renewal. One glance at the form book tells us all that Full Shift (6/1) is a pretty unlikely winner, until you realise that trainer Nicky Henderson has won no less than four of the last ten renewals which takes some doing at a premier meeting.  A six year old son of Ballingarry he did win a couple of races over hurdles, one a maiden and one a Class Three handicap here over this sort of distance which has to be a promising statistic. One race over the larger obstacles at Newbury saw him sent off the 7/2 favourite for some reason but he let the punters down over an inadequate two miles when a tailed off eighth of ten but surely he has to be a bit better than that and is one to at least consider as an each way option – assuming he is priced as he should be, of course.

Gary Moore is a friend of ours and he will be relying on Antony (7/1) now having taken Ubak out of the race. A consistent hurdler who basically raced off a rating of 120, that was his mark for his chasing debut at Sandown but he laughed at the handicappers there with a very easy eight length success from favourite Dancing Shadow who had experience on his side, and with the Gary Moore string in decent form in recent weeks, we think and hope that he can add another victory here and a trophy to take home to their Sussex yard.

With a shortage of last time out winners to work with we need to consider the Nigel Twiston-Davies trained West Wizard (6/1) who could be well weighted off a rating of just 129 this afternoon. This would be his first start over fences but he has the build to do well at this game and runs off the same rating as when hacking up over hurdles here last May, and if he get ground with the word Good in it (which seems to suit), then he could be the surprise package in this race with every possibility that in the long term he will be far better over the larger obstacles than he ever was over hurdles.

Champion trainer Paul Nicholls has decided to rely on Sirabad (5/1) here, who is better weighted than Katgary would have been, but will be entering new territory over this sort of trip. The son of Astarabad has won over two and two and a quarter miles over hurdles and looked to have learned from a shocking display of jumping at Sandown when putting in a better effort to finish second to On Tour at Carlisle and there is a great chance he can use that experience to his advantage this afternoon. He would not be the best of these over hurdles by any stretch of the imagination, but he may not have to be at these weights (and over fences), and stable jockey Sam Twiston-Davies takes the ride.

To round things off, Dan Skelton is really going places as a trainer and he sends Bekkensfirth (9/2) here as the six-year-old son of top sire Flemensfirth looks to follow up a reasonably straightforward success at Leicester.  That was a big improvement on anything he has ever shown over hurdles hence the ten pound rise in his ratings, but beauty is as beauty does and he brings experience and race fitness to the party and clearly won’t be going down without a fight.

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